We were asked by art collector Lao Fu to design the catalogue that accompanies the traveling exhibition ‘Chinese Abstract Slow Art’ which features the work of 7 contemporary Chinese abstract artists.
For the cover design we translated some of the most visual descriptions of the painting process by one of the artists, Shen Chen, into braille. Referring to the Eastern tale of ?Blind men and an Elephant? this metaphor is used in the book to describe the unknown aspects an often overlooked part of the contemporary Chinese art scene, Chinese abstract art.
At first glance the braille looks like superficial decoration, but after the reader opens up to the actual content of the catalogue the actual meaning of the braille becomes clear. The braille describes the painting process in such a visual way that even if you could never actually see the artwork, it is possible to experience what is meant by ‘Slow Art’. The translation of the braille passages can be discovered on both end pages of the catalogue.
“Let’s take a moment and pretend that you are blind and completely unaware of what an elephant is. Now imagine that your hand is placed on, for example, the leg of an elephant. You might be led to think that the leg is the elephant. However, if another blind person touches the trunk of the animal, he might think that this trunk is the elephant. The philosophical idea within this Chinese parable states that one, objective ‘truth’ doesn’t exist. In some ways we are all, more or less, blind, unable to know what the entire ‘truth’ is.
The same image of the elephant is applicable to the Chinese art world. If you look at what is being presented as contemporary art, in exhibitions, in galleries, at auctions, one could be under the impression that only the realistic art, that has been booming over the past 20 years, is Chinese art? But there is so much more!”
- Creative Directors Strange Attractors Design: Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk
- Art Directors Strange Attractors Design: Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk
- Designers Strange Attractors Design: Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk
- Illustrators –
- Photographers –
- Editors Strange Attractors Design
- Copywriters Shen Chen